Mothers In Movies Essay

812 words - 4 pages

I have always believed deeply that the role of a mother holds complexities that I have come to appreciate. It amazes me how innate characteristics are completely unravelled once a woman gives birth. As people have certain ideas of how a mother acts and presents herself, there is a unique depiction particularly of African American mothers during the 20th century. At the Mothers in Movies event, we were presented with different clips to analyze and discuss. The compilation of these clips surfaced different ideas held of African American mothers during the 20th century, such as conformity to social norms, aggressiveness, and tough love.
In the clip from Love and Basketball, Monica and her mother were having an intense conversation in the kitchen. Monica had always put basketball before everything in her life, and her mother, family duties. Monica's mother sees masculinity in her daughter, due to the fact that she has allowed her life to revolve around a sport. On the other side, Monica looks down on her mother for always being submissive to her father. The two embody completely different traits, and prioritize completely different things. One important quote that I noted was when the mother said, “My family had three meals a day, they had someone to pick up after them... that is what I came to care about.” These types of activities from an individual are what society has come to dub as female behavioral norms. Monica's mother came to a point in her life where these tasks have essentially become her life. She states, “When your daddy and I got married, yes I had dreams, but I happened to have gotten pregnant with Lina, and then I had you, so I had to put my dreams on hold.” Subject to social formalities, her mother took on this gender role to an extent that Monica could not approve of. In her eyes, it came to a point of complete subjectivity to her husband. I started to wonder whether or not Monica believed that giving up on dreams was a form of conforming to the gender roles brought up by the formation of a family.
After watching the clip from The Color Purple, I came to interpret the scene as presenting the interactions between African Americans and whites, during the 20th century (particularly African American women pertaining to this film). While...

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